From a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your HVAC system. You don't need it if you’re on a trip, so you can make adjustments as needed to minimize your energy use. Simultaneously, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.
In general, it’s best to leave your HVAC system on and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be tempted to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up leading to costly problems by the time you return. This is particularly true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, switching the HVAC system off in the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you return, but it could have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, leaving the furnace off can lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a vacation only to discover considerable water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even when you're just going to work. Because you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. As a general rule, it’s encouraged to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you can save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save around 10% on your HVAC expenses by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you leave for a lengthier trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer beneficial results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To determine the ideal thermostat setting for a winter vacation, simply lower it by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while restricting how long your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to manage your home’s HVAC system while away from home is with a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to monitor your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, specific models can track electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the optimal tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can reduce your costs, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away.